Last updated on March 5, 2023
Some of you may have heard about what happened at today’s Coos County BoC meeting. The meeting was cut short and rescheduled for tomorrow. Below is the response that I submitted (for the record) to the BoC.
I am sending this email to be entered into the public record for the Coos County Board of Commissioners meeting on 8/17/2021 that was adjourned and continued on 8/18/2021.
My name is Matthew Wilbanks. I have been a resident of Coos County for the past 15 years and am the editor of Dailyresister.com.
I attended the meeting on 8/17 to address Commissioners Cribbins and Sweet, who voted on 8/12 to follow Governor Kate Brown’s newest mask mandate despite the entire board sending her a letter demanding local control after the previous meeting on 8/3. I and many others voiced our support for local control on 8/3 and thanked the BoC for their letter.
The group attending the meeting on 8/17 was much the same size and composition as those who had been there on 8/3. As the meeting began, most of the attendees were not wearing masks but were sitting quietly. As the meeting began, Commissioner Sweet asked to be recognized to read the new mask mandate. There were several jeers from the crowd, but nothing out of the ordinary given the contentious issue. Commissioner Main had already called the first person for public comment before the mandate was read. This individual then asked to be recognized and began his commentary.
Shortly after his comments, one of either Commissioner Sweet or Cribbins, I don’t recall which, indicated that everyone would need to put on their masks. There were a few more jeers and one of the citizens said something to the effect of, “we’re not leaving, you’ll have to arrest us”. No threats of any nature were made that I could hear. The crowd was obviously unhappy, but far from a “mob” as Commissioner Cribbins would later claim.
I understand that the majority of meetings held by elected bodies are not attended by great amounts of average citizens. I also have been to plenty of meetings where serious issues were being discussed and things got a little heated. During this meeting, Coos County Sheriff Craig Zanni and CCSO Captain Gabriel Fabrizio were in attendance and sat at the back of the room. As someone trained in security, personal protection and law enforcement procedures, I am sure Sheriff Zanni would have stepped in if he felt there was a threat at any time. He did not, because there was no threat of violence, either stated or insinuated.
Commissioner Sweet then made a motion to dismiss the meeting and resume it at a later time remotely. Commissioner Cribbins seconded the motion immediately, and before most of the crowd even realized what happened, they began to walk toward the back door. This immediately elicited a response from the crowd, with boos/jeers/insults and calls for the two of them to be replaced. Even at this point I heard no threats of violence. After the Commissioners exited the rear of the room, Captain Fabrizio stood in front of the door but no one attempted to pass him.
When I later saw Commissioner Cribbins had done a short livestream on Facebook, crying and claiming she feared for her safety, I could only laugh in disgust at her pathetic attempt to garner sympathy. She must have attended the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez school of acting. I’m so glad she survived the Coos County “insurrection” of 8/17/2021 (my sarcasm should be obvious). When an elected official, particularly one with a law degree, can’t handle backlash from her constituents and responds like a teenager on social media, it’s time to find another representative.
Although he did not over-dramatize the event, Commissioner Sweet is just as complicit in his refusal to stand for his constituents and uphold his oath to the U.S. Constitution.
Finally, I would like to address the procedure Coos County uses for announcing it’s meetings. By law, meetings must be publicly posted at least 24 hours in advance, except in cases of an emergency meeting. As soon as the meeting on 8/17 ended, I began watching the Coos County website for an updated time for the resumption of the meeting. I am typing this email just before midnight on 8/17 and still nothing has been posted about the new meeting time.
I was shocked to find though, that KCBY posted an article about today’s events a few hours ago and a time for the new meeting was listed. Why does a local television station know the new meeting time when it has not even been posted to the County’s own website? A friend then informed me that there is an email list for meeting notifications and he was nice enough to forward it to me. Strangely enough, I can find no mention of said mailing list anywhere on the County’s website either. It’s almost as if the BoC doesn’t want citizens knowing when the meetings are. They already hold them at 9:30am on Tuesday, when most people are at work. I guess making it nearly impossible to stay informed is the next logical step.
To sum up, I am utterly disgusted by the behavior of 2/3 of the Coos County BoC. I will put my effort into either shaming them into resigning or voting them out in the next election.